At least 12 Iraqis were killed and 37 more were wounded, mostly in a pair of suicide bombings in Mosul and near Baghdad. Meanwhile, a human rights group is criticizing new rules that hurt the free press. Also, P.M. Maliki’s premiership is apparently in its death throes as potential partners turn away, but it is perhaps his other actions that underscore how fragile his grasp on power really is.
The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch criticized the new rules and harsh penalties that Iraqi Communications and Media Commission has imposed on broadcast media. Vague and draconian media laws have long undermined the ability of journalists to do their job in Iraq, which is also known as one of the deadliest countries for journalists in the world.
Now that Iran has called for the new Iraqi government to include Sunni parties, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has apparently backtracked from his former position welcoming their "constructive role" in the Iraqi government. While he didn’t mention Iran by name, Maliki accused a neighboring country or countries of meddling and acting as if they are Iraq’s "guardians."
After failing to win Sunni votes last month, Maliki has now also turned around his relationship with the Sunni Awakening Councils (Sahwa) and is asking their help to stop the deadly bombings that have embarrassed his leadership since late last year. The Sahwa mistrust the Maliki government thanks to delayed salaries and arrests. It is unlikely they will back him now.
In Mosul, a suicide car bombing left three Iraqis dead and 20 others wounded in the Zinjili district.
Sunday, two people were killed and several were arrested as they were attempting to plant a bomb in Kirkuk.
A chieftain in Baquba was arrested on unknown charges.
Seven Islamic State in Iraq suspects were captured in and around Hawija.
Five suspects were detained in Shoura.
Nine suspects were arrested in Basra province.
Security concerns have shut the airport in Najaf.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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